Rally commemorates pedestrian deaths in Berkeley

Dan McMullen and his wife, second and third from left bow their heads in prayer for four pedestrians killed nearby in the past five years. Photo: Ted Friedman
Dan McMullan and his wife, second and third from left bow their heads in prayer for four pedestrians killed nearby in the past five years. Photo: Ted Friedman

About 10 people gathered on Saturday to remember pedestrians who have been killed in Berkeley in recent years.

They gathered on the median on Adeline Street near Ashby in honor of Zachary Cruz Pedestrian Safety Month. Cruz, five years old, was on an after school outing when he was hit and killed by a truck  on Feb. 27, 2009 at the intersection of Derby and Warring. There has been an informal memorial at the spot he died ever since.

For the last three years, the Berkeley Police Department has designated March as Pedestrian Safety Month to honor the memory of Cruz. Berkeley has one of the worst record of pedestrian injury collisions among similarly-sized cities in California. In 2009, 106 pedestrians were injured by cars and three, including Cruz, were killed, according to police. Since then, a number of others have been struck and killed by cars, including Joanne Bolden, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in March 2010 and Tyler de Martini, who was hit while riding his skateboard on Jan. 31, 2012.

Dan McMullan, who runs the Disabled People Outside Project, organized Saturday’s memorial. He said he was recently injured after he was hit by a truck.


“Your life isn’t worth zip” if you’re disabled in Berkeley, he said.

He said the low turnout to the rally — which was announced on Facebook — was an indicator of how much people care about pedestrian safety.

“Look at this low turnout to observe  Zachary Cruz safety month” said McMullen. “This shows how apathetic Berkeley is.”

Ted Friedman contributed to this report.

Related:
Making safer streets in memory of little boy [03.30.11]
Street named for boy killed by car [12.08.10]
Memorial to Zachary Cruz: A note from his father [11.04.10]
Memorial to 5-year-old revived [11.02.10]
Berkeley intersection memorial to a life cut short [02.28.10]
Police focus on pedestrians [03.03.10]
Streetside memorial to 5-year-old killed by truck [10.27.09]


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